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TatonkaJames

Covering their butts - STOCK Act: Insider Trading Bill To Receive Senate Vote Next Week

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Amazing how they break the law and then conjure up a bill to let them off the hook so quickly when other important legislation takes forever.

 

WASHINGTON -- A Senate bill banning the trading of corporate hem off the hook by members of Congress based on nonpublic political information will see a vote next week, according to Democratic sources working on the bill.

 

"It'll be on the floor next week, either hotlined or an actual vote," one source said of the bill, known as the STOCK Act. Hotlining refers to the process of moving a bill through by unanimous consent.

 

A separate Democratic aide said that negotiations over amendments were still ongoing, which would make hotlining more difficult. A Democratic leadership aide, meanwhile, would only say that a vote was "possible."

 

The STOCK Act, authored by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.), would ban trading by members of Congress guided by nonpublic economic or political information. It would also improve disclosures of all stock trades and other financial maneuvers by members of Congress, by requiring them to publicly detail each transaction within 30 days. Lawmakers are currently granted a full year of secrecy before disclosing such financial activities.

 

The bill received a big boost on Tuesday when President Barack Obama called for its enactment during the State of the Union address.

 

"Send me a bill that bans insider trading by members of Congress; I will sign it tomorrow," Obama said.

 

Immediately after the speech, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters he would back the bill.

 

The STOCK Act is the product of two different good-government bills, one authored by Gillibrand and another by Brown. Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Ct.) merged the two bills, retaining a few elements of Gillibrand's that went further than Brown's.

 

The Gillibrand bill not only makes it expressly illegal for a member of Congress to trade on insider information, it bans members from tipping off others. In addition to making insider trading a criminal offense, Gillibrand would make it a violation of congressional rules, paving the way for speedier ousters of offending members. Both provisions were accepted as part of the committee-approved bill.

 

One of the bill's shortcomings has become a political issue in Brown's 2012 re-election bid. While the bill bans trading, it does not bar legislators from performing political favors for companies whose stock they hold. So long as a lawmaker does not actually sell the stock, but merely watches it increase in value (and perhaps pay out better dividends), members of Congress will remain in the clear. Brown's Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, has spoken out in favor of expanding the legislation to ban this activity.

 

Brown himself performed major legislative favors for big banks during the final round of debate over 2010's Wall Street reform bill. And according to his latest personal financial disclosure form, the Massachusetts Republican owns up to $50,000 of Bank of America stock.

 

As the financial overhaul approached passage, Brown was the deciding vote determining whether the bill would clear a filibuster in the Senate. He used that position to leverage several changes to the bill that helped large financial institutions, carving out an exemption to the Volcker Rule that allows big banks to continue placing risky bets in the securities markets with taxpayer money, provided they do so through private equity firms and hedge funds. Brown also helped save Bank of America and other banks billions of dollars in up-front costs by axing a plan that would have required them to pay into an emergency fund to cover the costs of big bank failures.

 

During the State of the Union, Obama also said he wanted to "limit any elected official from owning stocks in industries they impact."

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...He used that position to leverage several changes to the bill that helped large financial institutions, carving out an exemption to the Volcker Rule that allows big banks to continue placing risky bets in the securities markets with taxpayer money, provided they do so through private equity firms and hedge funds. Brown also helped save Bank of America and other banks billions of dollars in up-front costs by axing a plan that would have required them to pay into an emergency fund to cover the costs of big bank failures.

 

... that allows big banks to continue placing risky bets in the securities markets with taxpayer money, provided they do so through private equity firms and hedge funds.

 

Forgive my ignorance ... "Provided they do so through private equity firms and hedge funds." ... as opposed to what, public equity firms? Public hedge funds?

What are the other options?

Or, is someone suggesting taxpayer money not use the most successful money making channels possible?

As far as laws being created regarding the banking industry, are they suggesting members of congress can not own stock in banks, credit unions, etc.?

Does that sound reasonable? Is that the best way to handle this mess?

 

Kind of tough to make rules stating a capitalist government governing a capitalist economy can not be ruled by capitalist legislators.

 

Any help to understand the structure of the problem is appreciated. The above article does nothing to shine a light on the problem. But, it sure will stir the pot ... which, for "news" organizations, is how they stay solvent in a capitalist society. Zero info, all emotion.

 

 

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Bump.

 

This is getting interesting. The media's now involved in protecting it's assets. Seems part of the senate passed bill would require people obtaining the insider info would need to register as a lobbyist. So, if media members obtain the info, they would be required to register as lobbyist, even if they don't report the story.

The media complained and that wording was dropped from the house's version of the bill which passed 417~2.

Anyone who pays attention knows the biggest PAC's hacks in Washington are the media. Just who gets the majority of any PAC's expenditures? The media praise, condemn, or ignores PAC's efforts and corporations while profiting from their paid commercials. And people believe these media talking heads!?

 

On to committee for more watering down!!

 

Just imagine if this bill would change the Wall Street insider trading laws. Media members obtaining Wall Street insider info wouldn't be held accountable for trading on it.

Oh, to be a media mogul!! Your customers ads are their tax deductions at work. You decide what daily info is fed to the population. Insider trading info in Washington. Changing laws to always protect you. No matter what happens, you get your cut of the winnings. Yea, baby!! Just keep rotating those pretty faces and sensuous voices.

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